This conversation about yun's theory of American films, the auteur in Hollywood, and the subversion of genre movies, I think is worthy of a new thread, so I'm taking it out of comments. Here's my reply to shroom's latest comment:
He says: " I bristle at the statement "his favorite American films are all Big Budgeted [I hardly think that The Ghosts of Mars had an excessive budget] money-grubbing genre films aimed at blue collar fools." I hope your [sic] being ironic."
Shroom -- I'm only being slightly ironic. It's true that Ghosts of Mars, 3k Miles to Graceland, and the Fast and Furious are marketed towards the blue collar, working class masses of America who don't want an art film. These movies are made to make money, not to win critical awards or change lives. Now, if a director as keen as De Palma or Carpenter can take this kind of studio effort and turn the work into something meaningful and artistic under their noses (while still delivering the popcorn entertainment they signed on for), then that's something "subversive." That's the auteur at work. BUT, don't for a minute think that the films are being made by a committee of people who actually think snooty academics are going to like them better than NASCAR fans and hockey coaches. If that's your opinion, then you know very little about the offices into which I go every day, and the industry that generates this product.
"Mission To Mars" was not a prestige (read: Oscar caliber) project for Disney. It was not green-lit as an art film. It was a sci-fi film for the lowest common denominator. The fact that De Palma made it INTO his own art film (albeit severely flawed), tried to elevate the script, and entered it into his canon of auteuristic subversion, is a happy incident (especially for yun-fat, who actually loves the movie, while I merely don't hate it). But its intentions from inception were clearly different than the intentions of Disney when they green-lit The Royal Tenenbaums.